THE EVERYTHING MACHINE by Matt Novak
Kirkus Star

THE EVERYTHING MACHINE

by and illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

On the planet Quirk, the Everything Machine gradually supplants both the drudgery and creativity of the populace, which on most days “just stayed in bed.” The industrious machine paints their houses, bakes their pies, scratches their backs and even colors Little Greebo Moonhead’s coloring book. Its sudden breakdown flummoxes the Quirkians; its protracted repair necessitates relearning lost skills. When the machine’s back online, its meddlesome expertise irks the newly resourceful citizens, who’ve rediscovered the satisfactions of DIY: Gardeners blossom, cooks mix it up and Little Greebo paints accomplished pictures. The Quirkian solution results in “Everything Park,” with one remaining role for the now–Rube Goldberg–ian apparatus. Layers of brushy, flat colors in clay-like textures hearken agreeably to Wallace and Grommit, while the omnipresent E.M.’s bloated, white, six-fingered hands evoke a domineering Mickey Mouse—a surely intentional, cleverly sinister send-up. The mix of comic panels, word bubbles and bird’s-eye tableaux is terrific; Novak even provides a Quirkian history lesson via visual flashbacks in old timey sepia and blue. Dystopian allegory, lively storytelling, giggle-worthy pictures, boy appeal—yup: Everything’s here. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59643-268-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Roaring Brook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2009




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